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NAMA’s Third Annual Fly-In Soars to New Heights
CHICAGO – August 14, 2017 – Nearly 300 NAMA members and guests gathered in Washington D.C. July 25 and 26 for NAMA Takes the Hill, the association’s third annual Fly-In, according to Eric Dell, NAMA’s SVP of External Affairs.
“We are inspired by the breadth and scope of participation this year and so proud of all that was accomplished in our two days in D.C. From first-time attendees getting their feet wet, to important networking to newly-forged relationships with legislators and staff, the Fly-In was an incredible success,” Dell said.
“We could not accomplish our goals here in Washington without the tremendous support of our members, sponsors and elected officials – collaboration is essential in an undertaking like this. Participants met with lawmakers from across the U.S., broadening the impact and value of relationships forged as we work to grow our industry’s presence at the federal level,” he concluded.
Attendees representing 40 states and Washington D.C. took part in 241 scheduled meetings with elected officials and their staffs from both the Senate and the House, meeting with 45 percent of congressional offices overall. Meeting discussions focused on three main issues: Calorie Disclosure, the Death Tax and the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act.
A survey of attendees underscored the Fly-In’s positive impact, with more than three-quarters of attendees saying they would recommend the Fly-In to a friend or colleague.
About 400 people, including Fly-In participants and congressional staffers attended a NAMA-hosted reception on Capitol Hill, showcasing coffee, tea and water and high-tech vending machines and micro market setups stocked with a selection of the industry’s better-for-you and FitPick-compliant products, along with traditional favorites and beverages.
For the second year, NAMA partnered with Operation Homefront, a non-profit supporting military families. NAMA members donated more than 90 backpacks and various school supplies. Members of Congress, their staff and Fly-In attendees filled the backpacks during the Capitol Hill Industry event.
Tuesday evening preceding the Capitol Hill meetings, NAMA hosted a two-part advocacy education session featuring advocacy consultant Amy Showalter of the Showalter Group. Sessions for new and returning attendees included tips for Capitol Hill meetings, conversation guidance and a role-play scenario featuring members of NAMA’s PR committee. At the evening reception, George Sifakis, Director of the Office of Public Liaison for the White House, addressed attendees.
Tuesday’s dinner program featured remarks from Rob Engstrom, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on current legislative issues facing the convenience services industry at the federal and state levels. The Maryland state delegation was recognized with an award for being the state with the highest attendance. The evening’s events concluded with the choice of two networking events – a Monuments at Night boat tour and a “Connections and Craft Beer” gathering.
NAMA represents the $31 billion U.S. convenience services industry. By providing advocacy, education and research, NAMA works to promote and protect the industry’s nearly 160,000 hardworking employees. Through traditional vending and micro markets, office coffee and pantry services, product manufacturing and small-drop distribution, convenience services meets the needs of over 40 million American consumers daily at work, home, school and play.